P&G's Braun IPL advert banned over misleading hair removal claims

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 7-Jun-2023

The beauty device uses intense pulsed light to reduce the look of hair but does not remove hair permanently

A P&G advert has been banned for misleading claims about the permanent results of its hair removal device. 

The ban applies to a campaign displayed in 2022 for the Braun Silk-expert IPL and starring singer Frankie Bridge. 

British watchdog Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad claim of “permanent visible hair removal” incorrectly gave the impression that consumers could prevent all hair regrowth permanently through using the product.

On-screen text which stated “Treatment done. IPL won” also enforced the idea that once a course of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment had finished, hair would not grow back.

The advert should not be shown in its current form again, the ASA ruled. 

P&G stated there is no industry standard in the UK for recognising permanent hair removal and that it followed the US' Food and Drinks Administration (FDA) guidelines of "long-term stable reduction of the number of re-growing hairs". 

It cited research that it believed followed the FDA definition and argued that the use of the word “visible” made it clear that this claim refers to hairs on the skin surface only. 

Results provided by P&G claimed that in a 50-person randomised study, hair count was reduced by 30% after the initial treatment; 43% after six months and 36% after one year. 

P&G said that neither professional or at-home IPL devices would remove hair forever. 

The ASA said: "We acknowledged that Braun intended, by including the word 'visible', for the claim to mean that only the visible hairs above the skin’s surface would be permanently removed, and to highlight that repeated applications would be needed on an ongoing basis to capture hairs in that active phase of their growth cycle. 

"However, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim to mean that hair removal would be permanent and visible (meaning the effect would be noticeable), rather than permanent only in relation to the visible hairs above the skin’s surface."

 

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